The government has announced a raft of measures to strengthen university education in the country. The initiatives which include funding universities based on the nature of academic programme and number of students, were announced Thursday June 30, by Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiangi, at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology during the institution’s 27th Graduation Ceremony.
In a speech delivered by the Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education, Prof. Collette Suda, the Cabinet Secretary also urged universities to take advantage of new credit facility from the French Development Agency to modernise teaching and research infrastructure.
Giving example of JKUAT’s role in implementing the Jubilee’s digital literacy programme, Dr. Matiangi said time had come for local universities to shape Kenya’s development agenda.
“Countries that have made significant socio-economic development in the past few decades, like the ‘Asian Tigers’ attribute most of their advancement to universities and research institutions,” said Dr. Matiangi.
JKUAT in partnership with a South American technology firm, Positivo BGH, has successfully installed learning devices and facilitated user capacity building for 63 schools in Kenya’s 21 counties.
University Chancellor, Prof. Geoffrey Ole Maloiy who conferred degrees to 4086 graduands informed the congregation that JKUAT is spearheading a USAID funded climate resilience project on low carbon emission and renewable energy where ten (10) technical training institutes across the country are set to benefit.
Ambassador of Japan to Kenya, H. E. Toshitsugu Uesawa said the long history of friendly relations between Kenya and Japan was engraved in JKUAT, an institution which has been supported by JICA since inception as a middle-level college in 1979.
This unique tapestry of JKUAT will see the institution host a number of side events during the upcoming TICAD VI, to be held in Nairobi in August 2016.
Council Chairman, Prof. Paul Njuki appreciated JICA for its continuous support to JKUAT adding that the agency is currently sponsoring 6 teaching staff for doctorate training in various Japanese Universities.
Addressing the ceremony, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said the University was establishing the School of Maritime Studies with support from the Government of Korea. The school, she added, will produce necessary human capital to improve maritime transport and enhance Kenya’s capacity to tap abundant and under exploited marine resource.
A total of 75 doctorate degrees; the highest ever recorded in a single graduation ceremony were conferred. Nationals of Rwanda, Eritrea and Nigeria were feted with Nigeria taking up 25 PhD slots.